10 Interesting Facts About Rwanda (Number 9 Might Surprise You)

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According to the World Bank Group’s 2015 Doing Business Report, Rwanda is the best performing country in East and Central Africa and third easiest place to do business in Africa.

1. You can start a business in 48 hours in Rwanda. It takes 11.1 days on average in OECD high income countries.

2. Rwanda is leading Africa’s digital revolution. The Smart Kigali initiative will create access to free wireless internet on public buses, in hospitals, taxi parks, commercial buildings and restaurants, while a partnership with Korea Telecom is creating access to 4G for 95% of the population.

3. Between 2001 and 2012, real GDP growth in Rwanda averaged 8.1% per annum. According to the Fitch rating agency, Rwanda is experiencing ‘rapid and inclusive economic growth driven by credible economic policy’.

4. Rwanda has the world’s highest representation of women in parliament. 64% of Rwanda’s members of parliament are women.

5. A dramatic improvement in healthcare delivery and health outcomes has seen life expectancy in Rwanda rise by 10 years in the last decade. Over 90% of Rwandans have access to medical insurance.

6. Rwanda is one of the few African countries on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Net primary school attendance is at over 91%.

7. One million Rwandans overcame poverty between 2006 and 2011. Innovative homegrown development solutions have reduced poverty. For example, the Girinka programme, which provides every poor family in Rwanda with a cow, has reduced malnutrition, increased agricultural productivity and created small business opportunities.

8. In 2007, Rwanda became the first country in the world to legislate an outright ban on plastic bags. It is estimated that the EU produces 3.4m tonnes of plastic bags in a year, creating carbon emissions and dangerous waste.

9. On the last Saturday of every month, every Rwandan, starting with the President, participates in Umuganda, a day of national community service. Through Umuganda, Rwandans have built schools, medical centres, hydroelectric plants, and rehabilitated wetlands to create highly productive agricultural plots, and cleaned their cities, towns and villages – making Kigali one of the cleanest cities in Africa.

10. According to the Ibrahim index of African Governance, Rwanda is one of the only two countries to show consistent overall governance improvements since 2000. It is ranked number one in Africa for Gender, and is one of the top five most improved countries since 2000.

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One thought on “10 Interesting Facts About Rwanda (Number 9 Might Surprise You)

  • March 22, 2018 at 6:01 am

    Shahna, the first overt act of the US/Canadian/British/Belgian/(b)Ugandan intervention in Rwanda was on 1 October 1990, when the (b)Ugandan army invaded, using former feudal aristocrat baTutsi refugees from the 1959 Rwandan revolution that ended feudalism. The initial head of the invasion, Fred Rwigema, was killed during the invasion. The (b)Ugandan head of intelligence, a baTutsi by the name of Paul Kagame, returned from his IMET junket at Fort Leavenworth, to take over the running of the invasion. Under his leadership, the US and Canada flew nearly constant supply flights to his forces, to the extent that he could make constant (24/7) use of battlefield saturation weapons (description by UN peacekeeper, either Amadou Deme or Gilbert Ngijol-I have forgotten which) by the time of his resumed offensive in 1994. Kagame depopulated Byumba prefecture from about 800 000 people to about 1 800 (sic) people, prior to the official genocide. Kagame, with assistance from Herman Cohen and Romeo Dallaire (who almost certainly murdered Agathe Uwilingiyimana , an opposition politician and Prime Minister at the time. Note that my links are to the writings of Christopher Black, who was counsel for Ndindiliyimana, who was charged with genocide, but was eventually cleared . Kagame”s own former henchman, Eric Hakizimana, says that Kagame killed two million Hutus during the takeover of Rwanda; since then, five to ten million in DRC have been killed by Kagame and company”s wars there.

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